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28 February 2024 | Story ANTHONY MTHEMBU | Photo Anthony Mthembu
Tlotlisang Mhlambiso’s Literary Debut Promotes IsiXhosa Heritage
Tlotlisang Mhlambiso, with three student participants awarded copies of the anthology.

The University of the Free State Library and Information Services (UFS LIS), in collaboration with the UFS African Languages Press (UFSALP) and the Charmza Literary Club, recently hosted a significant book launch event. This gathering celebrated the debut anthology titled “Phind’ubhale: Imibongo YesiXhosa” by Tlotlisang Mhlambiso, a student at the UFS. The event, held on 24 February 2024 at the Assemblies of God church in Bloemfontein, attracted a diverse audience, including educators and students from local schools such as Ihobe Primary School, Vulamasango Secondary School and Nozala Intermediate School.

About the anthology

Mhlambiso’s anthology comprises nearly 60 poems, all composed in IsiXhosa, his native language. Exploring themes ranging from mental health and love to faith and navigating life’s challenges, Mhlambiso underscores the significance of writing in indigenous languages, considering it an integral part of cultural heritage. He aims not only to promote IsiXhosa but also to inspire and empower young readers.

Appropriately released during the International Mother Language Day celebrations on 21 February 2024, the anthology launch aligns with the mission of UFS LIS and UFSALP to foster a culture of reading among learners and encourage recreational reading in IsiXhosa.

The launch event

During the event, Mhlambiso engaged with the audience, particularly the learners, who had the opportunity to recite excerpts from the anthology. Mhlambiso himself recited one of his favourite poems from the book, titled “Phind’ubhale.” Outstanding student participants were rewarded with copies of the anthology as part of an initiative aimed at promoting literacy and motivation among young learners.

Commenting on the event, Vuyisile Mpinga, Principal of Nozala Intermediate School, expressed gratitude, noting the positive impact such initiatives have on learner motivation and achievement.

Mhlambiso’s future endeavours

Despite his notable literary achievements, Mhlambiso remains committed to furthering the cause of indigenous languages. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education Honours in Curriculum Studies, with a specialisation in Languages, he intends to advocate for the importance of indigenous languages in schools across the country.  

Book Launch

Tlotlisang Mhlambiso with educators from the schools invited to the launch.  

News Archive

Head of SA Witness Protection Programme pays UFS a visit
2010-05-04

 
Receiving the Head of the South African Witness Protection Programme are, in front: Prof. Hennie Oosthuizen, Head of the Department of Criminal and Medical Law at the UFS; back: Adv. Beatri Kruger from the UFS Unit for Children’s Rights, Ms Lani Opperman, Member of the Free State Human Trafficking Forum (FHF), Adv. John Welch, Head of the Witness Protection Programme in South Africa; and Lene van Zyl, a LLM student at the UFS who is doing her thesis on human trafficking in body parts.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs


Recently Adv. Beatri Kruger from the Unit for Children’s Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) invited Adv. John Welch, Head of the Witness Protection Programme in South Africa, to address the Free State Human Trafficking Forum (FHF) on the safe-keeping of victims who are witnesses against human traffickers.

Human trafficking is prevalent in the Free State, especially in Bloemfontein. The Unit for Children’s Rights is one of the founding members of the FHF that was established to take action against and fight the disturbing reality of human trafficking more efficiently.

According to Adv. Kruger the FHF identified the problem of trafficked witnesses being threatened by human trafficker syndicates.

Adv. Welch made some suggestions with regard to the safe-keeping of trafficked victims. He also, with some of the forum members, paid a visit to the areas in Bloemfontein where human trafficking is prevalent as well as to the local shelter for trafficked victims.

Adv. Welch undertook to join forces with the FHF in assisting trafficked victims and the local Witness Protection Programme Office is now a member of the forum.

Since December 2009 members of the FHF managed to disrupt the work of the human trafficking syndicates. “The traffickers have not stopped this inhumane practice but there are indications that they have moved to other buildings in the inner city and even to houses in the suburbs. It was reported to the forum that approximately 27 males suspected of being involved in human trafficking had been arrested, and since they are illegal in the country, they were deported to their countries of origin,” said Adv. Kruger.

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